It’s been a rough month for tech firm Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). Intel stock has been under pressure recently as analyst after analyst downgraded it in the wake of bad news headlines.
Now with Intel trading below $50 per share, investors should consider scooping up the semiconductor firm. While Intel certainly has some bumps in the road ahead, the firm’s overall growth story looks unchanged making now an excellent time to take a long position.
Right now, the biggest factor pushing Intel stock lower is the abrupt departure of the firm’s CEO Brian Krzanich. Krzanich resigned from the company last week after being investigated for having a consensual relationship with another Intel employee.
Inter-company relationships like this one, especially between management and subordinates is strictly forbidden as part of company policy and Krzanich was forced out as a result.
While Krzanich’s exit hurt Intel stock, it was a downgrade from Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon that took the share price even lower this week. Rasgon cut his price target to $42 per share from $54 per share and lowered his rating on the stock to underperform saying that “the CEO change provides an opening, limiting upside risk if numbers continue to move up for the time being.”
Rasgon argued that the firm is battling structural issues that will continue to be more visible in the months to come, which will likely take the stock lower.
While it’s true that Intel isn’t going to be walking on easy-street over the next few years, I don’t think the company’s long-term growth prospects are as dismal as the downgrade suggests.
Competition and Intel
It’s certainly true that Intel is facing tough competition in the semiconductor space, especially from Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD)- which has become a direct competitor to Intel in the server space.
However, not only is Intel financially sound enough to cope with a more competitive environment, growth in technology is likely to create enough space for both AMD and INTC to thrive.
Intel’s PC business is becoming antiquated, but the firm has been successfully shifting its focus toward becoming a data-centric firm. The company’s most recent earnings report showed that Intel’s Data Center Group- which makes processors for everything from AI to data centers and the internet of things, is now making up nearly half of the firm’s overall revenue.
The Data Center Group’s revenue was up 24% from a year earlier and that strong growth is expected to continue in the quarters to come.
That’s Intel’s growth story and although the CEO departure was a blow to the firm’s reputation, it doesn’t change the fact that the firm is executing it’s plans effectively. As far as competition goes, it would be remiss to completely ignore that Intel isn’t the only one supplying processors to data centers and IoT devices.
However, that doesn’t mean there is only space for one supplier. Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the IOT and data centers are all set to continue growing exponentially over the next few years, so although it’s a competitive space, it’s a pretty great one to be operating in when it comes to long-term growth.
What About China?
Although it’s become somewhat of a background concern, it’s worth mentioning that another reason Intel stock has been struggling over the past few months has been trade tension between the U.S. and China. There’s no getting around the fact that Intel is closely tied to the outcome of the U.S.-China trade war because the firm does a substantial amount of business in China.
However, even though things are likely to be shaky over the next few months, talks between Washington and Beijing are likely to eventually yield positive results for U.S. firms. At the end of the day, its in both countries’ best interests to continue facilitating open trade.
The Bottom Line on Intel Stock
The headlines concerning Intel stock that have taken the share price lower are certainly worth keeping in mind as they bring to light very real concerns about the business. However, the big-picture growth story for Intel remains unchanged and thats why this dip is a great buying opportunity for long-term investors.
As of this writing, Laura Hoy was long INTC and AMD.